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Work gets underway to extend multi-million pound CSW Broadband roll-out of superfast broadband

Press Release   •   Feb 12, 2016 10:31 GMT

Work is underway to extend the CSW Broadband roll-out of faster fibre broadband to a further 14,600 homes and businesses, Warwickshire County Council and BT confirmed today.

The latest expansion will see the high-speed technology becoming available for the first time this Summer in areas of Aston Cantlow, Avon Dassett, Edge Hill, Farnborough, Fenny Compton, Great Alne, Little Kineton, Norton Lindsey, Oxhill, Radway, Ullenhall and Upper Tysoe.

The roll-out will reach 3,600 additional homes and businesses by the end of 2016 and the majority of the remainder by the end of 2017.

During this period, the CSW Broadband programme will also be extended in parts of Alcester, Bidford-on-Avon, Brailles, Claverdon, Coleshill, Curdworth, Furnace End, Harbury, Haseley Knob, Kineton, Pailton, Rugby, Snitterfield, Southam and Wellesbourne.

Councillor Alan Cockburn, deputy leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “We recognise the vital importance of superfast broadband for both residents and businesses. In an increasingly global world it is vital that our businesses can compete on a level playing field, and good communications infrastructure is essential to ensure the vitality and sustainability of our local economy. It’s a relatively short time since this project started, and a lot has been achieved already. We appreciate that it is frustrating for those who are still waiting for faster broadband, but the team are rolling out the new fibre network just as fast as they can.”

Colin Bannon, BT’s regional director for the West Midlands, said: “CSW Broadband is a huge engineering programme but the roll-out is going extremely well. This new phase will ensure even more communities in the most difficult to reach parts of the county are able to access faster fibre broadband.”

Warwickshire County Councillor Philip Johnson, Chair of Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said: “Superfast broadband has become an accepted part of everyday life. This project is bringing 21st Century communications to our rural areas, which is vital for people to be able to carry out their work or, increasingly, for their social lives and leisure time”.

It’s around 20 months since the CSW Broadband partnership started connecting the first premises in Warwickshire, Solihull and Coventry to faster fibre broadband. Since then, engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, have installed 245 new road-side cabinets, making fibre available to more than 43,000 homes and businesses.

Local people can get more information and updates from the CSW Broadband website – www.cswbroadband.org.uk – and via Twitter and Facebook.

It’s an ‘opt in’ service, but because the network is being installed by Openreach it is ‘open’, so residents and businesses wanting to upgrade have a choice of fibre broadband service providers, with more than 140 now operating in the UK. Local people choosing to upgrade will be able to get download speeds of up to 80 megabits (Mbps) and uploads of up to 20Mbps*.

Note to Editors

*These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

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Issued by Warwickshire County Council and BT on behalf of the CSW Broadband partnership.

For more information please contact Leigh Hunt at the CSW Broadband project office on 01926 738339 or email: broadband@cswbroadband.org.uk

Or

Emma Tennant at the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.comTwitter: @EmmaTennantBT

About CSW Broadband - http://www.cswbroadband.org.uk

CSW Broadband is a partnership of eight Local Authorities (Coventry, Solihull, Warwickshire and the Boroughs and Districts of North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Rugby, Warwick and Stratford on Avon) with BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

In the first phase, which began connecting homes and businesses in April 2014, the CSW Broadband partnership is contributing £4.5 million, with £6.57m from BT and £4.5m from BDUK.

That phase of the CSW Broadband partnership will ensure around 40,000 premises in the project area have access to superfast broadband. When combined with private sector investments, 91 cent of the area’s homes and businesses will have access to superfast broadband by Spring 2016.

Contract 2, Part 1, was announced in February 2015. The deal was spearheaded by Warwickshire County Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, which are contributing an initial £3.68 million and £0.38 million respectively, with an additional £2.61m from BT and a further £4.06m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Superfast Extension Programme (SEP).

When complete, it will increase the percentage of homes and businesses able to access high-speed fibre broadband in Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire to nearly 94 per cent when combined with the first phase of the CSW Broadband roll-out already underway – known as Contract 1 - and the private sector investments of companies like BT.

The project office is hosted by Warwickshire County Council and is based in Warwick. The project team can be contacted on 01926 738339 or broadband@cswbroadband.org.uk

The CSW Superfast Broadband Programme is in addition to, and separate from, Coventry City Council’s ‘Super Connected Cities’ Programme.

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:

* £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017

* £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities

* £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services

Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life. For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. Following the acquisition of EE on 29 January 2016, BT consists principally of six customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, EE, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979m with reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com.